Indiana legislators highlight the importance of Indiana Farm Bureau

Photo provided by Indiana Farm Bureau

The 2023 Indiana legislative session is underway.

Indiana lawmakers met with Indiana Farm Bureau members on Tuesday to hear the organization’s policy priorities.  

Indiana State Representative Wendy McNamara met with county barm bureau leaders from Posey and Vanderburgh Counties.

“Indiana Farm Bureau provides great educational opportunities in our communities,” she says. “They’re a great community member and I learn new things every time I have the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with them.”

McNamara represents District 76. She tells Brownfield it’s critical to have these established relationships during a busy legislative session.

“They don’t have any hesitation reaching out to us to let us know if this is a good bill for them or this could be a potential issue for them,” she says. “To have built those relationship with our local communities is a huge advantage, not only for them, but for me too.”

Representative Steve Bartels also met with INFB members.

“Hearing about the Indiana Farm Bureau priorities puts us in line with what our community needs,” he says.  

He represents District 74, which includes Perry and Crawford counties and portions of Spencer, Dubois, and Orange counties.

“Throughout my district, the farming community is the number one employer. I’m trying to work and make sure family farms continue and make sure we’re doing the right legislation to ensure they have the tools to do that,” he says.

INFB Director of State Government Relations Jeff Cummins says the grassroots membership will be busy advocating for agriculture during the session.  

“We have a lot of visits already being set up with state legislators. That’s a great thing and we hope our members get back in the groove of that. We had a little bit of disruption during some recent legislative sessions becaues of COVID-19. Attendance ticked back up last year and we’re hopeful it ticks up even more this year,” he says. “When I’m speaking to legislators, they know I represent these members, but I’m there every day and they may get tired of me at some point. It’s better for them to see what their constituents and our members back home are saying about their priorities and passions for these policy outcomes. It’s effective to come and exercise that muscle of that relationship with the legislator.”

The Purdue Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Technology (Purdue CARET) was part of the legislative forum. Legislators also heard about the importance of ag research and more.

The 123rd Indiana General Assembly reconvened on Jan. 9. The state’s two-year budget will be crafted this session.

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